FOSS-ed Conference - Day 1

The first day of the FOSS-ed conference went really well. The focus of the event is to bring awareness to Free and Open Source Software to the general public. In addition to a keynote from Manju Hathotuwa, there was a series of presentations on various aspects of FOSS usage. Unfortunately, I couldn't listen to Bud and Mifan on distros and desktops. Suchetha did a really good one on web development tools. In the late morning, I did a short presentation on "Dispelling FOSS Myths". The time was too short to talk about legal aspects in detail, so I covered a few "myths" lightly, including "FOSS is not user friendly", "I have to give all my code away", "FOSS should not cost" etc. In the evening, I moderated a panel on "Challenges to wider adoption of FOSS in Sri Lanka". Reshan represented the ICTA, and Dinesh Fernandopulle of DFCC, Sanjiva, Chamindra and Bud were the other panelists. Most of the questions were along the lines of support and the government's role in wider adoption of FOSS in Sri Lanka. One good thing that Reshan mentioned was that the ICTA and the government are going to mandate the use of open standards, while giving implementors the freedom to choose specific technologies. Although a little bias towards FOSS would have made things even better, I still consider this as a very progressive step for the country in gaining "independance" in terms of software.